Tough choice: new DSLR or new computer?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by dllavaneras, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #1
    Hey everyone.

    I face a difficult choice. I can choose between getting a new iMac (to replace my aging, but still perfectly usable eMac 700Mhz G4 ) when they come out or getting a Canon 30D and a 100mm Macro lens.

    I'm starting to work as a scientific photographer at an entomology lab, and while my current setup (Canon S1 IS + Raynox DCR-250 macro lens) is serving me well, 3.2 Mp and the current image quality is just not enough if I want to take this any further. I like to give my lab the best quality work I can. It bears mentioning that 100% of my work there is macro-based.

    I'm also traveling to Mexico in mid-September, and I would love to have my DSLR by then.

    So, which would you choose? A new iMac or a new DSLR? Currently, I'm leaning towards the DSLR, but I'd like your input as well.
     
  2. bld44 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    #2
    Ooh, that's a tough one.

    Keep in mind that since you're doing photography work, if you go with a better camera, you're going to be dealing with larger picture files. Will you be handling the pictures at the lab? or at home?

    I'd say based on the job, go with the camera. But keep in mind that it will put additional demands onto your system.

    Tricky choice. Good luck.
     
  3. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #3
    That is a tough choice, have you considered getting a Mac Mini and saving the money and putting that towards the dSLR?
     
  4. bob5820 macrumors 6502a

    bob5820

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Location:
    35°0′36″N 80°40′45″W (35.0
    #4
    Second vote for the DSLR, it will be a nice way to remember the Mexican vacation. If your ambition is to be a photographer you'd be off to a nice start.

    ...Start shooting a lot of RAW though and the G4 might not be so perfectly usable anymore....

    BTW ... I really liked the 'escondido' shot
     
  5. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #5
    Another plug for the DSLR but I'd wait until 2 weeks before your trip before making the purchase. Maybe we'll see a 40D by then and you'd have a while to try it out.
     
  6. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #6
    Isn't there a way that you (have them) apply for a grant which should cover new equipment?

    If the eMac does what you ask him to, then it's clear that you should get a new camera. If you are stripped for cash, perhaps you should consider the XTi (since you seem to want to get a Canon) and a macro lens by Tokina or Sigma instead of the 30D.
     
  7. dllavaneras thread starter macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #7
    When is Photokina this year? (or PMA, I don't remember which one). The thing is that I don't live in the US, and I'll order the camera and lenses by mail. I don't think they'll make it in 2 weeks.

    And I should have probably mentioned that whatever item I get now, I'll get the other by late October - early November. So if I get the DSLR, my G4 can chug along until I can buy the iMac.

    I have my mind set on Canon, because later down the line I plan to get the MP E-65 1X-5X macro lens (for work and my own personal bug loving self :p), and there's no other lens like it from Nikon (the other brand I was considering). As for the XTi, I have pretty much made up my mind on the 30D. The viewfinder, 5 fps and better ergonomics (IMO) are the deal breaker. I've tried the XTi and it doesn't feel 100% comfortable. As for the lenses, I had a chance to play with the 100mm macro from Canon and I pretty much have my mind set.
    It's not exactly a "short on cash" issue, it's just that I can choose which of the two (iMac/DSLR) I can get as a gift now. The other will come later this year. :)
     
  8. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #8
    Buy the computer because if you have a job as a photographer then I would believe you'd be provided with the necessary equipment. Buy the computer, save you cash, buy the 30d or whatever is out when you get the cash.
     
  9. steamboat26 macrumors 65816

    steamboat26

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Location:
    Arlington VA
    #9
    I would go with the iMac, because you said your camera setup was working fine, but your eMac was chugging along.
     
  10. dllavaneras thread starter macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #10
    That's the catch. I use my own setup. That's why I'm leaning towards the 30D instead of the iMac.

    Both of my setups (camera/computer) work fine, but they're old and I could really benefit from updating both. But in the end, I think I'd benefit more from the DSLR than the iMac, at least in the next couple of months...
     
  11. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #11
    Once you get the new iMac, I suggest you have a look at Aperture as well.
     
  12. dllavaneras thread starter macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #12
    I sure will! ;) That's why I plan on getting an iMac and not a similarly priced Macbook. The VRAM is going to be useful...
     
  13. M@lew macrumors 68000

    M@lew

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #13
    Wouldn't it be great if you could get both. :D

    Getting Comp
    + Much better computer
    + Need the power to edit/catelouge photos
    - No DSLR

    Getting Camera
    + Much better camera
    + You're doing photography
    - If your computer can't handle a cataloguing program, it'll be hard to study photography. Not impossible though.

    I guess in your situation I would go for the iMac. You're pretty much due for one and you can still study composition etc. with a small camera.

    On the other hand, if you really think your computer can handle everything fine, go with the DSLR. My vote is for the comp though. :)
     
  14. bob5820 macrumors 6502a

    bob5820

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Location:
    35°0′36″N 80°40′45″W (35.0
    #15
    Common advice on this forum and others, when it comes to choosing a camera system, Canon, Nikon, Pentax, etc. is to make your choice based on the glass and not the camera body. While I agree with this in principal, I think that for most of us there is not that much difference in the glass we will typically own. Both Canon and Nikon make some nice entry level to mid range glass, and both make some outstanding pro glass. There are some lenses that are unique to one or the other, but these are lenses most of us will never own. Yours is one of the few cases where I have seen that the choice in glass, a some what specialized lens, truly is dictating the choice in camera system.
    I can understand choosing the 30D over the XTi based on feel. My decision to go with a Nikon D200 over a D80 was based to a degree on the fact that the D200 just felt better in my hands. Good luck with your choice.
     
  15. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #16
    Especially if you can afford an iMac later this year (i. e. after the next-gen iMac came out), go for a new camera now. If money is not really an issue, your choices are certainly sensible.

    Especially if you use the camera professionally, the 30D will be worth its money. I haven't paid any attentions to rumors, but even if a successor of the 30D will be announced, it'll take some time until you can get your hands on one.
     
  16. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2006
    Location:
    In my imagination
    #17
    Are you going to shoot the 30D at high resolution?

    If you are then get the iMac first (if money is an option) and when you can output your stuff faster and easier (and run Lightroom or Aperture and CS3 faster) you can take more jobs and do more things... getting you more cash to get the 30D. If you photo equipment serves you well... and your client isn't complaining about the image quality, then your camera is okay for now. When they start to complain get the 30D, but for now you need a new machine... anything below a GHz in this century is crazy talk, when you can have a 1.6GHz PowerMac G5 for $700.
     
  17. dllavaneras thread starter macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #18
    That's a given. I plan to take pics at 8 MP, as I see no use in owning a camera with a large megapixel count and shooting low res.

    I know, I know... :p But I think I can hold off until october-november to get a new mac. I won't be doing much photography work for my lab until then, so I guess my current computer can stand it for a while :)
     
  18. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #19
    What about buying the camera and adding some RAM to the eMac?

    I would get the camera though.
     
  19. the Helix macrumors regular

    the Helix

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    #20
    DSLR all the way

    Get the camera. A new Mac is only ancillary to what you can do with a new dSLR.
     
  20. dllavaneras thread starter macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #21
    Yeah, I recently added 512 MB of RAM to bring it up to 768 (it's not much, but it's much better than 384!). It's running pretty well, so I'm leaning more and more towards the DSLR.

    As for getting the new iMac now (when the new model comes out) and getting the 40D later this year to get them both as the latest models, it's a tempting idea but an impractical one. Getting the 30D now will let me learn how to use it properly by the time I have to work again, and will let me take some cool pics in Mexico. Getting the iMac later also guarantees I get it with Leopard :) And getting a 30D a month before the 40D is announced doesn't upset me that much. It's still a perfectly capable camera that runs circles around my current setup :)
     
  21. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #22
    Sounds like you've thought it out, and made up your mind... in which case I definately agree. Just get the camera now, you won't regret it, and you can really get going with some photography as you familiarize yourself with its capabilities between now and the time you get the new iMac. Strike while the fire's hot!! The 30D is a camera I once lusted after, and if I had been able to afford it I wouldn't have hesitated one second. I also love my Nikon D50, which got me into the world of dSLRs because it was discounted so much, so whatever your rationale for getting a particular camera, go for it, and go to work with it! Cheers, and good luck with your decision. :)
     
  22. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #23
    GREAT IDEA! Wait around for products not even available yet. I mean, you don't actually have to work until the new iMac and new 40d is out right?
     
  23. srf4real macrumors 68030

    srf4real

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Location:
    paradise beach FL
    #24
    fwiw, my g4 mini is sufficient to do all my editing, and I turned down an upgrade to a dual g5 in favor of the dSLR. My mini does not have the graphics to run aperture, tho... so down the road I will upgrade the 'puter before the camera. Probably upgrade to an intel mini. My philosophy was, take better photos now, I can always edit better later.:)
     

Share This Page